A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


It was crucial that the 2010 Census included illegal, or undocumented, and legal residents currently in the U.S. Doing so has ensured that Latinos have a more equitable dispersion of federal, municipal, and community services. A successful Census should ensure that everyone receives their share of the municipal largesse, and that the political realms cut up by politicians adhere to population and districting rules. Politically, the U.S. Census has always had an adulterous affair with the figures depicting illegal immigrants. However, undocumented immigrants use community services (like libraries, schools, and parks); undocumented immigrants pay taxes (sales tax--many own homes--property tax) and use community services, incorporating themselves into our lives. So, their need should be taken into account; leaving illegal immigrants out of U.S. Census has everything to do with the politics of intolerance.

Pretending that the needs and services consumed by illegal immigrants are negligibly invisible is not only irresponsible, it's akin to cutting off our noses to spite our faces. The U.S. Constitution instructs the Census to count all residents; whether or not the Constitution instructs the Census to count illegal residents, a.k.a. indocumentados, is not readily obvious, and arguments, I believe, can be made for both camps. However, one thing was blatantly obvious from the 2000 Census: "Hispanics", "Latinos", "Spanish" were egregiously under counted in the 2000 Census. According to a December 22, 2009 article in the N.Y. Times, "Latino groups contend that there was an undercount of nearly one million Latinos in the 2000 census, affecting the drawing of Congressional districts and the distribution of federal money."

The numbers are clear, though. For instance, there are currently 308, 745, 538 residents in the U.S.--of those, 50, 477, 594 were Hispanic or Latino residents. So, I guess you could say that Hispanics or Latinos account for a little less than one-sixths of the total U.S. population. In terms of numbers we are looking good, however, what has so many people reading the augury in these figures is the rate at which Hispanics or Latinos grew, and the rate at which Anglos and African-Americans shrunk. According to the 2010 Census, the most dominant Hispanic or Latino type is Mexican. Currently, Mexicans are 63% of the total Hispanic or Latino population; Puerto Ricans on the other hand constitute 9.2% of the total Hispanic or Latino population with 4, 623, 716. My people, the Argentineans, make up a pretty small fraction of the total Hispanic or Latino population. According to the 2010 Census, in 2000 there were approximately 100, 864 Argentines in the United States; by 2010 that number was 224, 952 which means that from 2000 to 2010 there were only 124,088 added Argentineans in the U.S. for a .1% growth in ten years (which might make many very happy...don't get me started!)

The great news is that, "The Hispanic population accounted for over half the growth of the total population in the United States between 2000 and 2010." This can only mean more leverage for Latinos at the national level and possibly at the district level as some districts get shifted. Also, if Latinos, legal and illegal, are lending their increasing numbers to the future of this country, this country has to address the inequalities in education, salary, and quality of life it has historically dispensed to Latinos. Also, even California, Texas, and Florida are the three states with the greatest amount of Hispanics and Latinos, there are several states which are seeing increasing numbers of Latinos. For example, "The Hispanic population in South Carolina grew the fastest, increasing from 95,000 in 2000 to 236,000 in 2010 (a 148 percent increase). Alabama showed the second fastest rate of growth at 145 percent, increasing from 76,000 to 186,000."

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